by Armand Lauzon | Founder and CEO of Belle, a Nashville-based tech startup that provides on-demand health & beauty services.
Most adults age 65+ wish to remain in their homes as long as possible, with 82 percent preferring to do so, even if they need day-to-day assistance or ongoing care during retirement. The answer for most is in-home care. However, home-based care can be burdensome and expensive. The good news is that now there are thoughtful technology solutions that are both cost effective and convenient for in-home caregivers. They are allowing caregivers to both enhance and customize the level of care they are able to provide in the following ways:
1) Minimizing travel burdens and costs: Many technology solutions are removing the need to travel outside the home to receive care. One of the best examples is telehealth, which enables doctors and nurses to provide remote care for basic screenings and checkups is. For aging adults with mobility and transportation problems, telemedicine offers a welcome respite from in-person office visits. It has been credited with keeping seniors out of nursing homes, along with a cost savings by eliminating follow-up appointments and readmissions.
Long-Term Living Magazine estimates that around 25 percent of annual hospital admissions for senior living residents can be prevented through telemedicine by allowing them to receive the same in-person follow-up consultations by video from their own communities.
2) Simplifying scheduling and payment: This is a population that is often in desperate need of services that not only come directly to them, but also provide easy scheduling and payment. When I founded Belle, it was critical that the technology provide a platform for both individual seniors and home care companies to book services by phone or online and pay in advance, eliminating the need for cash to exchange hands. For many of our elderly clients, their children book services on behalf of their parents. Simplifying the logistics of the traditional model results in peace of mind and ease of use.
Caregivers experience similar benefits by having access to a platform that handles the administrative details of their appointments. This simplification results in a better and more convenient experience for all.
3) Eliminating inefficiencies: Technology also removes the inefficiencies that exist under the traditional brick-and-mortar structure and gives that margin back to the worker and the customer. It does this by providing marketing, promotion, scheduling and payments, leaving the professional with more take-home revenue and the client with affordable care options.
Companies like Care.com match customers with care providers based on online profiles. Marketplaces like these perform basic background checks and leave education to the care professionals and reviews, scheduling and payments to customer.
Most caregivers working in traditional brick-and-mortar models forfeit a significant amount of the revenue they generate to overhead and shop owners. Technology companies are now empowering them to earn more by eliminating many of the traditional expenses they would incur.
The development of tech solutions that provide reliability, quality and a personal touch will continue to revolutionize home-based care. These innovations enable people to live independently while reducing avoidable and costly facility-based care. They are the solutions we desperately need to ensure the millions of aging adults in our country receive the access to care and services they deserve.
Armand Lauzon is the founder and CEO of Belle, a Nashville-based tech startup that provides on-demand health & beauty services to seniors, home care providers and caregivers. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.